Lindsey Graham challenger Jaime Harrison sets historic Senate fundraising record of $57 million in last quarter

Lindsey Graham challenger Jaime Harrison sets historic Senate fundraising record of $57 million in last quarter

October 11, 2020
  • Jaime Harrison, the Democrat challenging Republican Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina Senate race, raised $57 million in the third quarter of 2020, according to Politico.
  • Harrison beat the fundraising record of then-Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, who amassed $38.1 million in the third quarter in 2018 for his Senate race against Republican Ted Cruz. 
  • According to the Harrison campaign, the average donation was $37 in the third quarter.
  • The most recent Quinnipiac University poll showed both Harrison and Graham tied at 48% support.
  • Democrats have not won a statewide race in South Carolina since 2006 and a win by Harrison would represent a dramatic turnaround for the party.
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Jaime Harrison, the Democratic candidate challenging Republican Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina US Senate race, raised $57 million in the third quarter of 2020, a historic amount for a Senate candidate, according to Politico.

The record fundraising haul comes just weeks for the November election, where Graham is seeking reelection to a fourth term and is facing his toughest campaign in the historically conservative state.

Harrison raised roughly $21 million more than then-Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, who amassed $38.1 million in the third quarter in 2018 for his race against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

According to the Harrison campaign, there were 1.5 million contributions over the past three months from nearly one million dollars, with an average donation of $37.

"This campaign is making history, because we're focused on restoring hope back to South Carolina," campaign spokesman Guy King said in a statement.

Graham hasn't released his third-quarter total yet, but he has been outspent by Harrison for much of the year. In the second quarter, Harrison raised $14 million, compared to Graham's $8.4 million, and while Graham ended that quarter with more cash-on-hand overall, Harrison's fundraising has only accelerated even more, according to Politico. Since the race began, both candidates have collectively spent at least $72 million in the race, according to The Post and Courier.

In July and August, Harrison received $14.1 million in donations from the Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue.

The deluge in cash being poured into the race prompted Graham to make an appeal to supporters on Fox News, where he said that he "was getting killed financially" by Harrison.

"My opponent will raise $100 million in the state of South Carolina," Graham said. "The most money ever spent in the history of the state on a Senate race in this state was by me in 2014 when I spent $13 million…I'm being killed financially."

Recent polls have shown the race is virtually tied. The latest Quinnipiac University poll of the state showed Harrison and Graham each receiving 48% of the vote, and other polls have shown slender leads for Harrison or Graham.

Democrats have been making a play at several Senate seats in Republican-friendly states, but South Carolina would represent a huge turnaround for the party if Harrison captures the seat. The last Democrat to win a Senate race in the state was then-Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings in 1998 and the party hasn't won a statewide office since 2006.

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